What happened? Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) was enjoying a coffee during a break from his training ride in Menton, France when his bike was stolen. The 2018 Tour de France winner posted a photo of himself taking a rideshare home on social media, announcing the theft and worse – the loss of a week's worth of training data left un-downloaded on the Garmin that was still on the now missing bike.
Why it matters: Bike theft has been rampant in Europe. €400,000 worth of Italy's Olympic team pursuit equipment was nicked during Worlds in Roubaix and later found in Romania. Thomas' Pinarello was found quickly by Menton police and returned to him, Garmin still intact. Ineos Grenadiers replied to Thomas' Instagram post promising to send a bike lock.
What happened? According to Israel Start-Up Nation team owner Sylvan Adams, Chris Froome suffered a return of the parasitic worm disease bilharzia and it caused him grief during the Tour de France. Froome said he had gut issues during the Tour and was later treated.
Why it's significant: Froome credited a diagnosis and treatment of a bilharzia infection with his sudden surge in form to become a Tour de France contender in 2011. Will this new treatment see the four-time Tour champion find his legs again?
What happened? Giro d'Italia director Mauro Vegni threw down a challenge to two-time Tour de France winner Tadej Pogačar to attempt to win the Giro d'Italia and Tour de France in the same year – the Giro-Tour double.
Why it's significant: The Tour de France is much bigger than the Giro, and to get a champion like Pogačar in the race would be a boost for Vegni. However, the Giro keeps upping its difficulty making a double less feasible – the full 2022 route was announced last week with less time trialling and more climbs. The last successful double was Marco Pantani in 1998.
4. COVID-19 is still giving race organisers headaches
What happened? The Netherlands entered new lockdowns which barred spectators from major sporting events amid surging case counts, worrying to the two Dutch UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup organisers in Rucphen (December 18) and Hulst (January 4). The Ghent Six Day had to (gasp!) ban beer sales on the track infield and the Tour of Colombia is facing another cancellation.
Why it's significant: Spectators are a major source of revenue in cyclo-cross and beer sales are especially lucrative at the Six Days. The races were already affected last year, with the Six Day cancelled and the World Cups without spectators.
What happened? A report was published on CyclingTips that questioned the role that Afghan Cycling Federation president Fazli Ahmad Fazli played in helping to identify vulnerable cyclists for evacuation after the Taliban seized power in August.
Why it's significant: The UCI, who gave Fazli a UCI Merit in September for his role in helping to develop women's cycling in the face of cultural taboos, relied on Fazli to identify riders for evacuation.
What the heck is an NFT? Non-fungible tokens – a type of digital asset typically purchased with cryptocurrency – are a way for people with too much money on their hands to park their wealth in works of art or collectables like the three images of Van Aert winning stages of the Tour de France and Strade Bianche.
Why it's significant: Amid the COP26 climate conference and calls for pro cycling to clean up its carbon act, this marketing of NFTs has brought a lot of criticism Van Aert's way. The blockchain technology used to create cryptocurrency and to certify NFTs emits as much carbon as the whole of New Zealand each year, largely because most of the computational resources are in coal-burning China.
Cyclingnews new content highlights
Rider news and interviews
- Ben O'Connor returns to target Tour de France in 2022
- Dark days and sleepless nights: Bob Jungels' hidden ordeal
- Primoz Roglic: I'm not the cycling Terminator, that's not who I am
- Introducing: Luke Lamperti
- George Bennett: Pro riders are both brothers in arms and mercenaries
- Sarah Gigante on path to recovery after chest pain diagnosed as myopericarditis
- The Youth of Tadej Pogacar
- Fulfilling her dream: Irish champion Imogen Cotter steps up to pro ranks
- Moolman Pasio creates safe, inspiring Esports cycling space for women
- Ruth Winder highlights the importance of Cyclists' Alliance mentor Gracie Elvin in navigating retirement
A look ahead at 2022
- Marion Rousse: Leading a lasting Tour de France Femmes
- Giro d'Italia: Five key stages from the 2022 race route
- Filippo Ganna tempted by 2022 Giro d’Italia and Tour de France time trials
- BikeExchange open to Simon Yates racing Giro d’Italia and Tour de France
- Tom Dumoulin open to Grand Tour return in 2022
- Peter Sagan to debut with TotalEnergies at 2022 Vuelta a San Juan
- Terpstra ready to support Peter Sagan at TotalEnergies
- Fuglsang aims for Tour de France Danish Grand Départ after 'disappointing' 2021
- Almeida: I wanted more time trialling in 2022 Giro d'Italia route
- Linda Jackson: EF Education First showed conviction in wanting to support women's cycling
- Ryan Mullen: I want to repay Sam Bennett for the faith he’s shown me
- Wollongong Road Worlds a light at end of tunnel for Australian cycling
A look back at the 2021 season
- The 5 top sprinters in the women's peloton in 2021
- The top 8 domestiques of 2021
- 6 of the biggest names in men’s cycling who are retiring in 2021
- BikeExchange sign former Team Wiggins rider and Olympic medalist Campbell Stewart
- QuickStep snap up Giro revelation Mauro Schmid
- Zeits rejoins Nibali and López in return to Astana
- Eisel, Gasparotto and Schmidt bolster Bora-Hansgrohe directeur sportif line-up
- Mark Padun set for transfer to EF Education-Nippo. Ukrainian says he is leaving Bahrain Victorious but his new team hasn't been announced
- Kaarle McCulloch retires after glittering 15-year career
- Guardini brings curtain down on cycling career
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